(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Law                                    211
the so-called 'double document' for loan transactions. In this
case the whole text was written out twice on the papyrus, one
copy beside the other. One copy was rolled up and then sealed
by the person who had drafted it and sometimes by the wit-
nesses as well, and it was thus protected against subsequent
alterations. The second text, which was identical with the first,
remained unsealed and could be read at any time. In an action
the seal could be broken so as to discover whether the text
which had been protected by the seal was identical with the
unprotected version. Conversely, the royal law incorporated
Egyptian customs. Although the Ptolemaic kings filled the
highest offices with Macedonians and Greeks, the titles of those
officials were often nothing but translations of Egyptian titles
which we know as early as the New Kingdom. The division of
the country into nomes remained the same. The Ptolemaic
administration took over from the Egyptians their financial
organization with its treasury and storehouses (Brjaavpot), as
well as the tax returns, which are framed precisely as are those
known to us from the Middle Kingdom except that they are
written in the Greek language. The taxes were farmed, but the
tax-farmer was assisted by a staff of government inspectors.
Even in minor details we can trace the Egyptian tradition in the
royal statutes—the farmer of a monopoly who had searched a
house for the purpose of inspection but who had not found any-
thing was bound to assure the master of the house on oath.,
sworn in Egyptian fashion in a temple, that he had not searched
his house out of malice or without justification. The increasing
intermixture amongst the Greek and Egyptian population
helped towards a greater assimilation of these three coexisting
legal systems.
The Ptolemaic kings altered the Egyptian organization of the
courts. They appointed special inspectors (eicrayojyel?) to all
courts, alike to those with jurisdiction over Greeks and those
with jurisdiction over Egyptians. These inspectors took no part